...upon finally catching up with the friends list.
On the Narnia post here
, found via melymbrosia
: I never felt this sense of betrayal... I think I was never invested enough in the books. Also, I think when I was young I read with a strange literalism. I even remember my English teacher from fourth grade (a devout Christian) reading it aloud to us in class and telling us how Aslan was obviously a symbol of Jesus! And my reaction was: Ha! No way, that's so silly! And, wow a book I like is being read to me! However, I did have a minor thing for Susan that would probably have grown into something akin to my like of Scully or Eowyn etc. if Lewis just painted her a little differently. I tried so hard to like her, because Lucy was too perfect. Plus, bow and arrow. Reading through the various responses though, what got me the most was the expression of faith-envy, of this fascination with Christian symbolism and mythology, that I completely understand... I was kind of raised Christian and never quite took up with it, but my mom and my sister are pretty devout (sister is really quite so, mom not so much, but still pressure to go to church). I don't really believe in anything else, although I would kind of like to. So I very understand the envy of the people who have this faith in something bigger than themselves, with this giant mythology and symbology and this whole world of texts to support it.
On reading, sparked by melymbrosia
's post here
: I read because (cliche of cliches) it puts me places I cannot otherwise be, be it other people's heads, or an entirely different world. The ones I love best are the ones that put me in both. And once I have thoroughly lived in a character's mind, sometimes that character can be so real to me that the "real world" out here can be hazy and unclear, because nothing is articulated in such clear prose. I think, connecting this to the post above, that this is why if I let myself think about it too much, I would feel completely betrayed and hurt by many of OSC's comments and by the entire Ender's Shadow series. Because like many people with Narnia, he takes this view I had of Ender and of Ender's dilemma and mindset, raises it, and says, this is wrong. This is what I was writing to preach against. And now because everyone loves Ender's Game and pays no attention to the rest of my books, I will write this stuff from Bean's point of view and completely undercut Ender to the point in which he is incompetent and did not even make the crucial decision that would shape the rest of his life. But I luckily found this out when I was old enough to forcibly separate the author's intent from my books, and because I couldn't bear losing Ender's Game. This is why it hurts me almost physically when people say Ender is stupid and Bean is so much cooler. It's not rational... it's a reaction that comes straight from my gut. Because I love Ender. Because I was
Ender. Because I felt like I knew Ender better than my best friend.
I don't do this so much now, mostly because I'm not reading books as an eleven year old, and I've got years of English class and lit crit and means of disassociating myself from the text. But sometimes, a book or a character will grab me viscerally and drag me into someone's head or someone's world, and when I'm done with the book or the series, there is such a palatable sense of loss that I can't quite function for the rest of the day, because it's gone, that world, and I cannot live there. That is the most painful thing about reading for me. And that's why it can be so important for me that plotlines go the way I want them, or why I desperately want the Eowyn/Faramir Houses of Healing scenes in RotK. It's not logical. It's this gut feeling stemming from identification and the idea that for a while, I was those characters. I spent years playing make-believe with my sister and cousin as a way of alleviating this feeling, so I could playact being Eowyn or Scully etc., but it was never quite the same, and it never will be. double_helix
on sex and literature here
. Unfortunately, this hasn't sparked any intelligent thoughts (not that the above were all that intelligent), especially since I don't read enough general fiction to talk about it. But ooooo, issues I am greatly interested in ^_^.